During one summer during high school, my mother enrolled me in a jazz camp. There, I was able to pick ‘courses’ to sit in on over a period of a week. I had the pleasure of signing up for ‘The History of Jazz’, taught by Waldo King.
Waldo was a great teacher, and had a great passion for music and it showed with how he interacted with each of us. I always looked forward to hearing him speak. He was always approachable, caring, and definitely a walking encyclopedia of Jazz. HIs legacy lives on in all the lives that he touched, and the music that we play.
He passed away in 2019 at the age of 92, but he’ll always have a place in my heart. I wrote to him one time (handwritten, by snail mail) and received a letter back from him, which I keep in a box of memories from my youth. He took a break from his garden to write me back. That will always amuse me.
Rest in peace, Waldo.